A CROWN IN DARKNESS by Margaret Mullally


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A long, lulling novel about the sad career of Lady Jane Grey, Queen of England for nine days-- from birth to execution at the age of sixteen. The author takes lazy liberties with the hard facts, by placing Jane at the ringside during some major Tudor confrontations and confessions: ""I didn't love him [King Henry]"" sobs Catherine Parr to Jane; and it is Jane who intercepts a mandate for Catherine Parr's arrest, as it pops out of the Chancellor's pocket. Also, the author ascribes the ballad ""Oh Western wind, when wilt thou blow..."" to Henry VIII--a minor rent in this tapestry protrait which does not inspire confidence in the scholarship. However in general outline Jane's character follows Hester Chapman's sane estimate in her biography--a pawn certainly, used by Protestant, anti-Marian nobles, but also a young woman of intellectual muscle, stubbornly principled. A somber tribute on very shaky foundations.

Pub Date: Oct. 8th, 1975
Publisher: St. Martin's